Effective marketing is personal marketing. The generic “10 tips” blog post and homogenous email blast can no longer be the go-to tactic from the modern marketer’s toolbox.
While segmenting your audience in email marketing is relatively common, segmenting your readers when creating blog and article content isn’t nearly as familiar for most marketers. In this article, we cover how to segment your blog content to drive more leads and more sales.
But first, let’s get on the same page about the term. A segment is a defined group of people within your market and is similar to a buyer persona.
Let’s take the fictitious Acme Fitness Facility and delineate its audience into segments. First, we identify what is known about the customers, such as:
- Age (Under 30, 30-45, 46-60, over 60)
Psychographics (interests and preferences specific to the market or offering)
- Main goal (weight loss, muscle gain, physical rehabilitation, etc.)
- Interests (classes, resistance training, cardio workouts, personal training, etc.)
Given the data, we identify a few target segments:
- Men ages 30 to 45 with the goal to increase their strength
- Women ages 46 to 60 with the goal of weight loss
- Men over 60 interested in personal training
Put yourself in the gym shoes of someone in the second segment. Which of the following article titles would appeal the most?
- Sculpted Summer: 7 Tips for Men Looking to Gain Muscle
- Weight-Loss Principles That Trump Fad Diets and Workouts
- Lose Weight in Your 50s and Keep it Off for Life
The first title references men so that excludes a category of women, but the third title hits the right demographics (gender and age) and goal. It’s the winner because it’s the most relevant to the segment.
The second title mentions weight loss so it could be appealing to the segment, but it’s generic. Bland messages not only create bland relationships, they create bland results from marketing efforts. The more people feel that a marketing message was created explicitly to meet their needs, the higher your general response rates will be, and the better your long-term relationship with your audience.
I’ve written at length on marketing segmentation and tailored messaging – and the fundamentals always stay the same: Relevance gets attention.
Drive more leads
To attract prospects, the fitness center hosts three blogs – each one designed to reach one of the company’s audience segments. With each post, the company includes an opportunity to capture the reader. For example, a post for the men’s muscle-gain blog includes a link at the bottom for a free e-book: The Men’s Diet Tips Guide: Building More Muscle. When they click on the link, the readers are brought to a “gate” – a personalized squeeze page or lead box – before they can open the e-book.
HubSpot does this segment lead generation well with an e-book call to action on its blog post.
These personalized opt-in pages ideally drive the prospects through unique marketing automation sequences based on what we know about their goals and interests. You certainly would not want to promote male-oriented fitness information or offers to readers who initially opted for a women’s fitness e-book.
The automated email sequence following the men’s muscle book download looks like this:
- Day 0 – Subject: Your Diet Tips Guide from Acme Fitness
This email explains the company’s positioning, welcomes the new subscribers, frames the benefits of future emails, and delivers the free e-book that was promised.
- Day 2 – Subject: Men’s Fitness Transformations at Acme – Real Stories
This email highlights the before-and-after pictures of men who transformed their bodies thanks to the help of the fitness facility. It includes a light call to action requesting that the reader fill out a web form for a free fitness session.
- Day 4 – Subject: What’s the Ideal Workout for Muscle Building?
This email feature links to three useful blog posts with videos related to muscle building, filmed by the fitness experts at Acme Fitness.
This automated email sequence would be significantly more powerful than a one-size-fits-all email sequence – and it’s all because the lead source (the blog targeted to a specific market segment) allowed for more targeted follow-up and a likely much higher conversion rate to an appointment or sale.
In addition, these segment-oriented blogs or even blog posts are great content to help the company’s rank on search engines and serve as good social media fodder.
Close more sales
Since newsletter subscribers, some prospects, and previous customers have provided their email addresses, they are more qualified than leads who come through social media or search engines. We need a different kind of segment-specific content for this category of “already subscribed” folks to consume.
A piece of content designed to educate existing subscribers includes a call to action to take them on the next step in the buying process. Let’s look at a few examples of how this strategy would apply to our fictitious Acme Fitness Facility.
In email promotions to middle-aged women interested in weight loss (a specific segment with specific needs), we promote the following articles and corresponding calls to action:
Title: Weight-Loss Success Stories of Working Women
Call to action: Banner at bottom of blog links to an offer for a 14-day trial of women’s group fitness classes
Title: Body Composition – A Measure of Success in Women’s Health
Call to action: Text at end links to a web sign-up form for free a body composition and cardio health assessment
With respect to content for existing contacts, we want it to not only be useful and valuable given the segment’s goals and challenges, but also actively help them make the next step toward a purchase or appointment.
Knowing your important segments allows you to tailor all of your marketing efforts to converting them effectively – to win new leads and new business. You’re scaling the positive effect of face-to-face sales across your marketing media. That’s smart marketing.
Building segments requires having the data to know your audience. Creating an effective content strategy requires good data, too. Learn how to do it with this CMI webinar: Creating a Content Strategy with Data at the Core.
Cover image by PazMadrid, morgueFile, via pixabay.com